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Why German Shepherds Are Not Good Pets: 9 Reasons

Why German Shepherds Are Not Good Pets: 9 Reasons

It’s time we talk about why German Shepherds are not good pets. That’s right! As much as these German beauties are adorable, protective, and loyal, there are times and circumstances in which they don’t make such good family dogs.

Naturally, GSD canines require active, working, and creative owners that spend a lot of time outside. Anything else is either a myth or a misconception.

Prior to German Shepherd puppy purchase, every GS dog lover is recommended to do a little research on what to expect out of this magnificent breed. Throughout this article, we will try to explain all the don’ts of having a German Shepherd dog in your home.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to rationalize all the benefits and liabilities of your potential puppy!

Why German Shepherds Are Not Good Pets

german shepherd lying in the grass

Even though they are considered to be among the best family dogs in the world, there is one ultimate truth about GSDs – they are not for everyone!

GSDs coming from both the showline and the working line can be impeccable family pets as they are naturally loyal, devoted, task-oriented, and eager to please.

Furthermore, this canine is probably one of the most purposeful dogs in the world. Altogether, GSDs are great police dogs, herding dogs, rescue dogs, and family dogs.

However, their ultimate responsiveness and all-time readiness to perform complex duties is exactly one of the most common reasons why these canines are not recommended for all family types.

These highly-energetic dogs simply need owners of the same value. Anything less than that can lead to a destructive relationship and long-term misery.

Here are nine other reasons for why not to get a GSD puppy for yourself!

1. Prone To Various Health Issues

That’s right! Future German Shepherd owners should take into consideration the breed’s health prior to purchasing this wonderful dog. Naturally, these medium to large dogs are prone to various health problems, such as hip dysplasia, bloat, eye problems, obesity, and many others.

The fact that GSDs can develop a plethora of health conditions throughout their age is why you should always consider buying the puppy from a reputable breeder.

Early vaccination, deworming, health exams, and DNA tests are what you get with reliable kennels. Otherwise, you are most likely to spend tons of money on your dog’s healthcare.

If you just don’t feel like spending so much time worrying about your dog’s health – try getting a healthier breed instead.

These canines require a lot of care and devotion, especially in their older age where real problems begin. Gradual reduction of their activity throughout time positively correlates with the development of various health problems.

2. Not So Friendly

German Shepherd dogs require a lot of socialization and obedience training, especially during their young age. Otherwise, your GSD can be overly aggressive, even towards some family members.

Unlike Labradors or Retrievers, these canines don’t possess a natural drive for socialization. They rather prefer to work and complete tasks given by their owner.

GSD puppies that don’t undergo the process of early socialization are most likely to be labeled as an aggressive breed. That is why you should never have a GSD puppy in your home without proper training first. Aggressive GSDs can be extremely hostile towards other dogs and other pets, too.

Having an unsocialized GSD around small kids is not the best idea either. These dominant giants don’t have the most understanding and tolerant nature, which is why you shouldn’t let them play with your children unless they are fully socialized.

3. Anxious If Left Alone

sad german shepherd lying on the floor

Despite their vigorous and brave character, these pooches can be extremely clingy. GSDs that are adapted to a family life from an early age are most likely to be extremely affectionate and dependent on their owner. That said, having a GSD means worrying about potential separation anxiety.

That’s right! GSDs, just like Chihuahuas and Labs, can suffer from severe separation anxiety when left alone. These family pets don’t stand the idea of being on their own, even for one bit. Instead, they will rather prefer to be labeled as dogs that won’t leave your side as if they don’t feel purposeful on their own.

Of course, you can always try to reduce their clinginess with proper dog training. Dog TV shows, a fenced back yard with an interactive playground, and chew toys are just some of the tools to use in this process.

4. A Bit Too Demanding

The reason why German Shepherds are not good pets at times lies in the fact that they can be too demanding for their owner. Totally opposite from their lazy dog counterpartsthese pooches enjoy spending their high-energy levels on long, exhaustive walks and training.

Another thing that’s bad about GSDs is their constant drive for mental stimulation. They just love being challenged and given various tasks, which again, can be too tiring and exhaustive.

GSDs that don’t receive a proper amount of exercise during the day can be overly aggressive. Furthermore, inadequately-exercised GS canines are more likely to display behavior problems, such as frustration and self-destruction.

If you just don’t feel like walking your dog too much or paying loads of money to dog walkers – don’t get one! Instead, try getting a more laid-back breed that doesn’t have such high demands.

5. Inadequate For First-Time Owners

Having a GSD puppy as your first dog can be quite a challenge. These pooches require strong, firm leadership, which is why they can be disobedient to inexperienced owners. Not all people have the luxury of engaging a professional dog trainer, which would be a good option.

That’s why getting a less demanding first dog would probably be a better solution. GSDs are generally all about high-intensity work, a lot of training, mental games, and constant ups and downs.

On the other hand, socializing a naturally aggressive breed is far more challenging than upbringing a naturally sociable dog. The general rule is: aggressive, big dogs are to be avoided by first-time dog owners.

That’s why if you have the opportunity to adopt or to buy a dog breed such as Poodle, a Lab, or a Maltese – just do it!

6. Too Active For House Life

young german shepherd sitting on the couch and holding a pillow in his mouth

Another reason why German Shepherds are not good pets is because they don’t make the best indoor pets. Their naturally-active character just doesn’t go along with an indoor lifestyle. These are rather outside dogs that love having the entire back yard for themselves.

Having both a male and a female GSD in your home means being constantly worried about lamps breaking, furniture being scratched, and other pets being bitten.

These canines are easily bored in closed spaces, which is why they need to be taken out on a regular basis. Puppies that don’t have a proper amount of exercise during the day can turn into real house beasts.

7. Excessive Shedders

If you’re wondering whether GSD puppies shed or not, the answer is – yes, excessively! These canines have a short to medium-long double coat, with an extra undercoat. They shed all year round, which is why they don’t make the best house pets.

If you or some of your family members suffer from severe dog allergies – the advice is to either go for a less-demanding breed or not get a dog at all. The truth is there is no such thing as hypoallergenic dogs, but some dogs shed significantly less than others.

Unfortunately, these German pooches don’t actually have the best reputation in this regard. Having one in your home means being constantly occupied with cleaning, vacuuming, and brushing.

8. Not So Great At Guarding

Even though they have good protective instincts, these pooches are not exactly the greatest guard dogs in the world. In fact, compared to some other scary breeds, these canines are on the very bottom of the list.

Just like Rottweilers or Labs – these pooches have a high-energy level and an excellent watchdog nature. Unfortunately, this is not enough when it comes to direct combat with other dogs or predators.

If you’re looking for a more serious breed that is perfect for protecting your property, you should probably stay away from a GSD or else subject your GSD to some serious training.

9. Easily Bored

bored german shepherd lying on the floor

If you don’t want to deal with constant GSD barking, you should probably look for a less enthusiastic and demanding dog breed. These pooches are extremely intelligent, which positively correlates with their constant need to be mentally stimulated.

As much as they love spending time on walks – that is usually not enough. These canines require engaged owners and a plethora of mental exercises such as hide and seek, treasure hunt, or puzzle games.

If you fail to deliver, you are most likely to deal with a destructive dog.


There is more than one reason why German Shepherds are not good pets. Having this active dog by your side means being constantly challenged by its behavior patterns, and constantly pushed by its high exercise needs.

If you’re not really into spending the good part of your day outside training your dog – a GSD puppy is probably not the breed for you.

Carefully read all these rationales for why not to get a GSD, and see how good of a fit you are!

Read more: Are German Shepherds Aggressive? Discovering The Truth